How To Crop A Screenshot On Mac: Quick Guide

Capturing a screenshot on Mac is super easy. But taking screenshots is not enough, as you may need to fine-tune them. This can include cropping the image, highlighting a specific element, or deleting unnecessary parts of the image. You may also need to crop your screenshot to hide sensitive information displayed on it. The crop tool is handy for readjusting your image in all these cases. So, let’s learn in the following guide how you can use different methods to crop a screenshot on Mac!

Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Taking Mac Screenshots

You can take screenshots on Mac using different methods. But the most efficient approach is using keyboard shortcuts. All it takes is pressing a few keys to take screenshots in different ways, such as:

  1. Full-screen capture
  2. Partial-screen capture
  3. Capturing Objects without the background

Let’s dive into each of these to understand how to take a screenshot on Mac when using the keyboard.

Full-Screen Capture

To capture the entire screen, press Shift + Command + 3.

Pressing “Shift + Command + 3” for Full Screen Capture
Pressing “Shift + Command + 3” for Full Screen Capture

This combination will capture everything displayed on your screen. For example, you can capture dialog boxes, the menu bar, and the dock. Once the screenshot is taken, you’ll hear a camera shutter sound. Right after that, a floating thumbnail will appear on the screen. This means you have captured the screenshot successfully.

Partial-Screen Capture

Here’s the step-by-step method to capture your partial screen on Mac.

  • If you only need to capture a specific part of your screen, then press Command + shift + 4.
Pressing “Shift + Command + 4” for Partial Screen Capture
Pressing “Shift + Command + 4” for Partial Screen Capture
  • After that, click and hold the left click and drag the cursor diagonally to cover the desired area.
  • Release the left click to capture the screenshot.
  • A camera shutter sound will confirm the capture. After that, a floating thumbnail will appear on the screen. This will say the screenshot is successfully captured.

Capturing Objects without the Background

The above two methods take a screenshot of your full or partial screen. But sometimes, you may need to focus on particular objects on your screen without the background. For example, you may need to capture icons or dialogue boxes, and this is how you can do that.

  • Press Command + Shift + 4 + Space bar.
Pressing “Shift + Command + 4 + Space Bar” for Capturing Screen without Background
Pressing “Shift + Command + 4 + Space Bar” for Capturing Screen without Background
  • After pressing these keys, you’ll notice a light blue overlay with a camera icon in the center. So, moving this camera icon will cause the screen to highlight blue wherever the cursor hovers.
  • Take the cursor over the desired object on the screen and click it.
  • Once you do that, you’ll hear a camera shutter sound with a floating thumbnail. This means the screenshot of the captured area is ready for editing.

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Easy Step-by-step Guide on How to Crop a Screenshot on Mac

How To Crop A Screenshot On Mac [Using In-Built Tool]

Now that we’ve covered different screenshot methods, let’s move on to cropping. The built-in tool is the most effective approach to crop a screenshot on Mac instantly. Here are the step-by-step guidelines to do that:

  • After capturing a screenshot, click the floating thumbnail on your screen.
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Opening Floating Thumbnail after Taking a Screenshot
  • The screenshot will open in a preview window.
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Screenshot in a Preview Window
  • Now, click the pencil icon at the top to see editing options.
Clicking on Pencil Icon
Clicking on Pencil Icon
  • Look for the editing tools at the top of the preview window and select the crop tool.
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Selecting the Crop Tool for Cropping the Screenshot
  • Adjust the selection handles to crop the image according to your preference, and then click “Crop”.
Clicking on “Crop” Option
Clicking on “Crop” Option
  • Finally, click “Done” in the top-right corner to save the cropped screenshot.
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Clicking on “Done” Option to Save the Cropped Screenshot

Note that the floating thumbnail only remains on the screen for a few seconds. You may not locate the screenshot if you missed clicking it. So, try to click the thumbnail quickly if you want to edit/crop the screenshot. Otherwise, you’d need to retake the screenshot. But, you can move to other cropping methods on Mac, as discussed below.

How To Crop A Screenshot On Mac With Preview App?

If you are wondering how to crop a screenshot on Mac in case you miss the thumbnail, try the Preview app. The Preview app on your MacBook is a versatile tool to crop screenshots after the built-in tool. It allows users to view, edit, and annotate different types of files, including images and PDFs. Besides that, you can crop, resize, rotate, and even add text or shapes to your images.

So, let’s see how you can crop any screenshot using the Preview app:

Using Preview App for Cropping Screenshots on Mac

  • Take a screenshot and find it on your Mac.
Locating the Screenshot
Locating the Screenshot
  • Double-click it to open the screenshot in the Preview app.
Opening The Screenshot in The Preview
Opening The Screenshot in The Preview
  • Find the “Show Markup Toolbar” button located in the top menu bar.
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Selecting the “Show Markup Toolbar”

Note that the Show Markup Toolbar icon may vary depending on your Mac model. You can find it in either a pencil tip icon or a toolbox icon.

Using Show Markup Toolbar for Resizing and Cropping a Screenshot
  • Once you’ve located the button, click it. If you see a plus sign on your screen, it indicates you’re ready to crop your screenshot.
  • Click and hold the left click while dragging the cursor diagonally. Do this across the area you wish to capture. When done, release the mouse button. The selected area will appear in a rectangle having blue dots. These blue dots will form a frame around the selected area of the screenshot.
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Selecting Specific Area of a Screenshot for Cropping

Everything within this rectangle will be in the final cropped image. After you crop the screenshot, the rest will be automatically trimmed away.

  • Adjust the blue dots to select the area you want to crop.
  • Once done, navigate to the menu bar and click the crop icon.
Navigating And Clicking on Crop Icon
Navigating And Clicking on Crop Icon
  • The screenshot will get cropped.
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Cropped Screenshot in Preview App before Saving on Mac

Remember to save your cropped image before closing the Preview app. If not, you will lose all the editing done on the screenshot. For that, click the File at the top > Save. Or, use the shortcut Command + S to save your cropped screenshot.

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How To Crop A Screenshot On Mac Using The Photos App?

Another quick way to crop a screenshot on Mac is to use the Photos app. This app is pre-installed on your Mac for organizing and editing pictures. You can quickly crop your screenshots within the app with a few simple clicks. Here’s how to do that:

Opening the Screenshot in the Photos App

First, you must import the image into the Photos app. Unlike the built-in and Preview app method, there is no quick shortcut to do that. So, you can follow any of these to open the screenshot in the Photos app:

Open the screenshot directly in the Photos app on your Mac:

This is how you can directly open a screenshot on your Mac:

  • Locate the screenshot on your Mac.
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Locating a Screenshot on Mac
  • Right-click it > Open With > Other.
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Clicking for Open With > Other Option on Mac
  • Find and select the Photos app in the list and click Open.
Finding “Photos” App and Opening It
Finding “Photos” App and Opening It
Import the screenshot in the Photos app:

Alternatively, you can launch the Photos app first on your Mac and import the screenshot. This is how to do that:

  • Open the Photos app on your Mac.
  • Navigate to the Imports section.
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Navigating to the “Imports” Section
  • Now, drag and drop the screenshot image into the empty area to add the image to the app.
Dragging and Dropping the Screenshot to add in Photos App
Cropping the Screenshot in the Photos App

Now, let’s see how you can crop a screenshot on Mac using the Photos app:

  • Double-click the image to edit it.
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Opening the Screenshot for Editing
  • Click the “Edit” button you will find in the top-right corner.
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Clicking on the “Edit” Button
  • Select “Crop” in the top bar of the editing tools.
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Selecting “Crop” in the Editing Tool
  • Use your cursor for adjusting the size of the image. You can drag the sides, and Crop handles accordingly.
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Adjusting the Size of the Screenshot
  • Once you have selected the area you want to crop, click “Done” in the top-right corner.
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Clicking on “Done” To Crop the Selected Area

Again, make sure to save the screenshot to save the editing made. This is how you can do that:

  • Right-click the image and select Export.

OR

  • Click File at the top of the screen > Export > Export 1 Photo from the menu.
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Clicking File > Export > Export 1 Photo on Mac
  • A dialog box will appear. Here, you can set the desired format. Also, choose the file name and destination folder to save the cropped screenshot.
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Choosing the “Fie Name” and “Destination Folder” to Save the Cropped Screenshot on Mac
  • Finally, click Export to save the cropped screenshot on your Mac.
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Clicking on Export to save the cropped screenshot on Mac

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How To Crop A Screenshot On Mac With Third Party Tool?

Both the Preview and Photos apps come pre-installed on your Mac. Though you can quickly crop screenshots in them, you can also try third-party tools. These tools come with advanced features. So, they will allow you to do different crops, remove objects, and enhance the colors of your image.

There are many advanced third-party tools you can download on your Mac. This includes Polarr, Skitch, Adobe Lightroom, Pixelstyle Photo Image Editor, etc.

Using Polarr Pro Photo Editor for Mac

Let’s delve into how to crop a screenshot on your Mac using third-party tools like Polarr.

  • Open the Polarr Pro Photo Editor app on your Mac. If you haven’t installed it, you can download Polarr from the App Store or the official Polarr website.
  • Once opened, find and click the Open Photos button. You can find this button located at the top-left corner of your screen.
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Clicking on “Photos” Button in Polarr App
  • Navigate and select the screenshot file on your Mac to open it in Polarr.
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Selecting a Screenshot on Mac to open in Polarr App
  • After importing the screenshot, it will be displayed in the Polarr editor.
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Screenshot in the Polarr Editor
  • Find and select the cropping tool (a square or rectangle icon). You can find it in the toolbar on the left side of the screen.
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Selecting the Cropping Tool in Polarr App on Mac
  • Click and drag the cursor over the screenshot to select the desired area on the image. You can adjust the selected area by dragging the corners or edges of the selection box.
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Clicking and Dragging the Cursor over the Screenshot to Select the Area for Cropping
  • Once done, click the same “Crop” button at the left toolbar.
Clicking on Crop Button after selecting the area to be cropped
Clicking on Crop Button after selecting the area to be cropped
Saving Cropped Image in Polarr
  • When you finish editing, click Save in the app’s top-right corner.
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Clicking on Save after Cropping the Screenshot
  • Choose the desired format and destination > click Save Copy.
Choosing Desired Format and Destination before Clicking on Save Copy
Choosing Desired Format and Destination before Clicking on Save Copy

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How To Crop A Screenshot On Mac With Online Tools [Third Party Tools]

If you prefer not to download extra software on your Mac, you can still crop images using free online tools. For that, you can choose from several popular options on the web. For example, you can go for Photopea, Picresize, Cropp.me, or ResizeImage. These free online tools allow you to edit images directly through your web browser. Thus, there is no need to download an app on your Mac to crop screenshots.

Using Photopea – Online Photo Editor to Crop a Screenshot

Let’s now see how to crop a screenshot on Mac using a third-party online tool like Photopea:

  • Visit Photopea. If you see a welcome screen highlighting the tool’s features, close this window.
  • Now you need to import an image to crop it. Here is how to import:
    • Click Open From Computer located directly below the tool name. Then, navigate to find the screenshot and select Open.

OR

  • Click File in the top-left corner of the screen > Open. Now, locate the screenshot file you want to crop.

OR

  • On your MacBook, navigate to the folder where you have saved the screenshot. Then, use your mouse cursor to drag and drop the File into the Drop any files here area within Photopea.
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Dragging and Dropping the Screenshot into the Photopea App on Mac
  • Once you import your screenshot successfully, you can easily crop it. Find and select the crop tool from the toolbar on the left side.
Selecting the Crop Tool in Photopea App
Selecting the Crop Tool in Photopea App
  • Also, adjust the image size by dragging the sides of the crop dots.
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Adjusting the Size of the Screenshot Dragging the Crop Dots in Photopea App
  • Once done, click the check mark symbol located in the second menu bar at the top. Hence, your image will be cropped.
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Clicking on the Check Mark Symbol to Crop the Screenshot

Next, you must save the cropped screenshot before exiting the online app.

Saving Images After Cropping in Photopea App
  • Click File and select Export as. Choose the desired file format for your cropped image.
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Clicking File and Selecting Export As to Save the Cropped Image in Photopea App
  • Finally, click Save to download the cropped screenshot on your Mac.
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Clicking Save to Download Cropped Screenshot on Mac from Photopea
  • Wait for a few seconds for the image to download. Once done, you can find the saved image in the Downloads folder on your Mac.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I crop screenshots on Mac using keyboard shortcuts?

No, keyboard shortcuts specifically for cropping screenshots are not available on Mac. But, you can use keyboard shortcuts to capture and crop a screenshot on Mac in Preview or Photos app.

Can I crop multiple screenshots at once in the Preview or Photos app?

No, you can only crop one image at a time using the built-in Preview or Photos app. But you can try different online third-party tools to crop bulk images at once.

Can I undo Crop on Mac?

You can undo a cropped screenshot on your Mac if you have not saved it. But you cannot undo the Crop once you save the image.

Conclusion

You can crop a screenshot on Mac using the Preview or Photos app. Alternatively, you can install a third-party tool or use a free online app to do the same. However, cropping is just one feature offered by these apps. When it comes to editing images, you can do a lot more than just cropping. For example, you can adjust colors, annotate, or apply filters to screenshots. This way, you can fine-tune your images using different tools available in editing apps.